Head coaches looking forward to U21 tournament

TORONTO, Canada, June 24, 2024 – Eight teams are set to compete for the U21 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship title from June 25 to 30 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The head coaches expressed their thoughts on their teams at this tournament today:

Head coach Puerto Rico, Jose Ricardo Rivera

“The expectation for this tournament is to finish in one of the top four places. We have been preparing for 12 weeks for this event, training very hard and coming together as a team. “

Head coach Canada, Olivier Faucher

“We have high expectations. We have a good group of players who have had a decent amount of training, and we will play the best volleyball we can this week. Moving forward, we should expect good matches and results on our end.  For some of our players, it’s the first time representing Canada, so there will be some nerves, which is expected. … it’s an honour to represent Canada and having this opportunity at home in front of friends and family is extra special.” 

Head coach Costa Rica, Kareem Richards

“It’s an honour to be here; amongst the best teams in the region.  Our expectation is to gain a lot of experience. We have a young team that we are trying to develop, and the girls are very excited to continue their process of learning from the best…  including myself learning from the other coaches here. We are here to share, learn and grow.  We have some players as young as 15 and 16 and some older players. We see this tournament as a great opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.”

Head coach US Virgin Islands, Isaac Raphael

“We are excited to be here. We have a young team, and we are looking forward to seeing them perform at this level. It’s going to be a tough competition, but I believe that is the way you improve. We’re going to play some hard volleyball and have a good time.

We spent a couple of weeks at a training camp in Orlando and we are hoping that will be enough. It should show what we have done in the last couple of weeks.”

Head coach Mexico, Luis Leon Lopez

“Our first goal is to qualify for the next round and then the semifinals and finals.  Most of our players come from other national programs and we’ve been training together for three weeks for this tournament. We are looking forward to competing here.”

Head coach USA, Heather Olmstead

“We’re excited to be representing United States of America at this tournament – we’ve had a great week of training, and we have a good young group with us and we’re excited to play all the teams here. We are going to give it our all and compete … every match is a battle and we expect to play really well at this tournament.”

Head coach Suriname, Miquel Misidjang

“Our expectations are not too high because we have a team in development, a very young selection with an average age of around16. We are using this opportunity for the girls to have experience for the future. We are coming to compete, but we are realistic about the expectations. We’ve been training as a team for a couple of weeks now and worked with the team of Trinidad at a training camp there.”

Head coach Dominican Republic Cristian Cruz

“We know this will be a very strong competition with strong teams such as USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. We think this is a strong competition for us and we will fight very hard in each match. We start training earlier in the year, but we have also had some players in college in the United States as well as one player who was in VNL with the senior team, so we are just coming together as a team and we know this is a good team.”